Giovanna Zavala

Performance art except

it’s me in Chuck E. Cheese
picking the pepperoni off the pizza because
I can’t tell my dad I’m gay
or a vegetarian;
me taking a micro dose
for the high school reunion;
kissing three of your roommates
and not you,
even though you said that you liked me;
not pronouncing the “t”s in mitten and kitten
but making them “d”s because
I’m from California;
telling everyone I’m going to move
to New York after graduation,
Googling apartments in Inwood,
ignoring the zeroes after the posted rent;
starting a fight with you on a six
hour car ride because I want you
to end it by saying
I love you.

Performance art except it’s me
paying the bills on time,
doing the dishes after the meal,
cooking the meal,
sitting down to eat;
me showing you a poem I wrote
about high school theatre and middle school
track fields and prom and
America and you,
and more importantly, you responding with,
this read like a poem.

Performance art except it’s me saying, yea,
that was the point of it all,
which I never do
end up saying. Spelling it out for you.
Family style pasta and carpool
and separate beds
and all the mystery
you’ll allow me to hold. It all
just sits on my shoulders and flutters
around your head.

All of this except,
let’s pretend none of it ever happened.
Jump in the pool and then
I promise, I won’t make you do it again.
Me stretching out my arms
like it’s art,



Giovanna Zavala will be graduating from Chapman University in the spring of 2020 with a double major in English and Screenwriting. She likes writing and movies and backpacking and laughing and many many other things!